The history of religion should comprise written records of religious concepts. As such, it can be understood to be established in the year 3200 BC, with the apparition of the first written documents in the history of humanity.
The earliest proof that can be found about religious concepts, however, can be traced many thousand years before during the periods of Middle and Lower Paleolithic. Archeologists and historians believe that during the mentioned eras, Neanderthal societies were devoted to animal worship and totemism, such was the case with the so-called “bear cult”.
The worshipping of animals and nature, otherwise known as paganism, in the Upper Paleolithic, was also strongly connected to rites of hunting, sacrifice, offerings, etc. For example, there is some evidence dug up by archeologists and specialists in the field which is said to constitute “Paleolithic art”, which is about the so-called “bear cult”, in which, seemingly, there was some kind of ceremony involving the sacrifice of a bear, who was inhumanly shot with bow and arrow. The ceremony also involved the burial of the bear in a ritualistic manner, next to which they would erect a bear totem made from clay and fur from the bear. The rest of the poor animal’s body would then be buried separately. As can be inferred from this ritual, there is no end to human cruelty and sadism, even when it is connected with religion, which is supposed to be something positive and far from indulging the dark, lower instincts of humanity.
The well-known texts of the Pyramid, created in ancient Egypt are probably the most ancient texts dealing with religion, written about 4 thousand years ago. It is worth noting that everything points to the establishment of organized religion as a way of ensuring stability, both economic and social as well as controlling the members of larger societies.